Illinois Certficate of Authority

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Related: Get an Illinois Registered Agent

If your company was not incorporated in Illinois, but you wish to do business there, you need to register as a foreign entity with the state.

Acquiring Illinois Foreign Qualification allows a company incorporated in Delaware or any other state to legally transact business in Illinois.

Please note: information on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, requirements and costs can be changed by states at any time and Harvard Business Services cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

How to Get an Illinois Certificate of Authority:

The Illinois Secretary of State requires different forms and fees depending on what type of entity you are operating.

Foreign Qualification Requirements for LLCs:

  • File an LLC Application for Admission to Transact Business.
  • Fee: $150. 
  • In Illinois, a certificate of Good Standing dated within 60 days of application is required. 

Foreign Qualification Requirements for Corporations:

  • Profit Corporations: Form BCA 13.15: Application for Authority to Transact Business. 
  • Non-Profit Corporations: Form NFP 113.15: Application for Authority to Conduct Affairs in IL
  • Fee: Minimum of $150 ($50 for Non-Profit).
  • Certified articles of incorporation and all amendments dated within 90 days of filing the application. 

You must also appoint and list a Illinois Registered Agent. The Registered Agent must be maintained at all times. Harvard Business Services can provide this service at a cost of just $99/year.

Harvard Business Services can assist with your application so you don’t have to deal with the Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department directly. We do charge our own fee for this service, in addition to state fees. The exact fee can vary based upon whether your company is already filed and whether you need us to obtain additional documents to meet the state’s requirements. Please contact us for an exact quote.

How Do I Know If I Need a Illinois Certificate of Authority?

The most common reasons to apply for an Illinois Certificate of Authority are if you plan to:

  • Open an office or physical location within the state
  • Hire employees who reside in the state
  • Before beginning a contract or job

Keep in mind that even if an Illinois Certificate of Authority is not required for a specific activity, a bank, vendor or another party can still require one in order to establish a relationship.

Illinois Annual Requirements

Once you have Foreign Qualification in Illinois, the State of Illinois requires all LLCs, Corporations (for-profit and non-profit), and LPs to submit an annual report. These reports must be submitted to the Illinois Secretary of State each year on the 1st of the month of your anniversary date of when you started your business in Illinois. (Example - If you started your business November 15th, you will have to file an annual report on or before November 1st.)  

The fee for LLCs is $250.

The fee for a Corporations: $25 along with a minimum franchise tax of $25.

The fee for an LP is $100.

There is no fee for an LLP. 

All annual reports can be filed online or through paper form. Click here to learn more about Illinois Annual Reports.

Please note that the annual requirement for an Illinois Certifcate of Registration is independent from requirements you may have in Delaware or other states.

Since 1981, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has helped form 410,106 Delaware corporations and LLCs for people all over the world.

Registered Agent Service

Harvard Business Services, Inc. guarantees your annual Delaware Registered Agent Fee will remain fixed at $50 per company, per year, for the life of your company.